Will my Goldendoodle Get Curly? How to Tell

When taking home your little Goldendoodle puppy, it is completely natural to daydream about your future together.  It can be tricky though when looking down at a tiny, silken-coated pup to guess what they will really look like “all grown up”.  Many people will default to imaging a densely curled mop of fur but is that a guarantee?

Before you go dusting off the crystal ball, read on for the lowdown on what you need to know about Goldendoodle curls and how to predict (if possible) if they are in your pup’s future.

Do All Goldendoodles Have Curly Hair?

In short, no. While an internet search for the term “Goldendooodle” will invariably return a variety of pics of cute and curly pups they also come in variations of wavy and flat coats.

These coat variations are less like to come up in searches as they may not have the instantly recognizable Doodle-like appearance.

How can you tell if a Goldendoodle Puppy will be Curly?

Whilst as a child, as per the old wives’ tale, you may have been encouraged to eat all your bread crusts to ensure a curly head of hair there is no equivalent wisdom for influencing your Goldendoodle’s adult coat type. Spoiler alert – it doesn’t work for humans either, I ate every single crust, and my hair is still poker straight!

Effectively the genetic die has been rolled as soon as your little puppy has been conceived. As they grow inside their mother their DNA is forming that has the recipe for everything from gender to coat type and color.

Many new or prospective owners may be selecting a Goldendoodle primarily for their potential to have a curly (therefore lower shedding) coat but just to make like interesting Goldendoodle are not actually born with their adult coat. Instead, they are born with a fluffy straighter puppy coat and their full adult coat may be different and not fully realized until they are around one year old.

Clues that your Goldendoodle May Grow up Curly

Many breeders and Goldendoodle owners have suggested that there are some characteristics that can be looked at that often hint at the type of adult coat a Goldendoodle may have.  Particularly it is suggested that the hair around a pup’s nose can give a good clue.

Curly Adult Coat

Puppies may have tightly curled hair around their nose with evidence of additional hair around their nose giving an obvious “mustache” type shape.

Wavy Adult Coat

Puppies may have waved hair around their nose and a general shaggier appearance to the hair around their nose and muzzle.

Straight Adult Coat

Puppies may have notably straight hair around their nose and generally shorter hair over their muzzle giving a smoother appearance

While many breeders may swear by this approach, it is worth remembering this is no exact science and Mother Nature has always been known to throw a curveball now and then.

A Little Genetic Help

While there is nothing anyone can do to change a coat type once a puppy is born, one way of increasing the chances of having a curly-coated Goldendoodle is to think about the parent mix.

A first-generation Goldendoodle has a Poodle parent and a Golden Retriever parent meaning they are a straight mix of both parent breeds, 50% Poodle and 50% Golden Retriever.

In simple terms, breeders can sway the proportion of Poodle genes to increase the chance of Poodle-ish curly coats by breeding a first generation Goldendoodle back with a Poodle. This results in puppies that are now 75% Poodle and only 25% Golden Retriever.  That being said, in a litter of these puppies there can still be wavy and flat coats but likely in lesser numbers.

When do Goldendoodles Shed their Puppy Coat?

Already mentioned in this article is the fact that Goldendoodles, just like most dogs, are not born in their final coat. They come out, soft, silky, and impossibly cute and have to put some serious work into growing strong and healthy before their adult coat will start to develop.

Typically, many Goldendoodles will begin to shed their puppy coats anywhere from six to seven months onwards. The process is very gradual, so gradual in fact that many Goldendoodle owners may not recognize it has started.

As puppy coats are generally shorter and less dense than adult coats there is not a large volume of hair to shed as the adult coat comes through. It is important to keep up a regular grooming schedule to avoid the shorter puppy hair getting caught in the denser adult coat coming through which could result in tangles or matting.

Do Goldendoodles Coats Change?

Goldendoodles are no different from the vast majority of dogs in that their coat will go through some natural and unavoidable changes over their lifetime.

The most notable as discussed above is the changing of their puppy coat to their adult hair type. Interestingly though this is not a quick process and while most Goldendoodles will have their adult coat firmly in place by around one year, some can continue to experience changes until around two years.

Most owners will know to expect their Goldendoodles adult coat to transition to a bit longer, a bit denser, and generally a bit coarser than their light puppy coat but they may be unprepared to see that color and pattern changes can also occur in their dog from six months right up to around that two-year mark.

Often adult coats may be visibly lighter in color than puppy coats which may cause some marking patterns of lighter hair seen on a puppy to blend in and disappear. Alternatively, some Goldendoodle puppies that appeared solid color may develop some mixed color patches or fade in areas such as the face, tail, or body.

Most adult Goldendoodles coats have settled by around 2 years and will be fairly fixed until they head into their senior or twilight years. Just like humans, they may experience graying or loss of color pigment. Just as humans will go grey on their head, senior Goldendoodles will often show lightening or loss of color completely around the face and muzzle (Personally I love a senior doggo with a white face, I think they look like wise old boys and girls.)

In addition to color change in your senior Goldendoodle, the texture and density of their coat may change with some evidence of thinning.

It is important to note these changes should be gradual. Anyone who encounters sudden or dramatic changes of hair loss in their dog should always seek veterinary advice as it could be an indicator of an underlying health condition or injury.

Why is my Goldendoodle not Curly?

The curly-coated and wavy coated Goldendoodle is certainly more common overall but what about if your little Goldendoodle ends up the more unique flat coat style? The good news is while they may pass convincingly for a Golden Retriever, they still will be a Doodle mix underneath and have the temperament favored by so many.

If you are still struggling to get your head around how the Poodle curls fully skipped your pup there is a handy article already on our site that will tell you all you need to know about the flat coat Goldendoodle.

Goldendoodle Hair Types and Caring for Them

We’ve mentioned above that Goldendoodle adult coats generally fall into three main categories. However, life is not always super simple, and some will have a combination of coat types. This most commonly presents as curly over the body and softer waves around the face.

Curly Coats

Sometimes referred to as a “fleecy” or “teddy bear” coat. These coats are notably curled. The actual curls themselves can vary between barrel-type individual curls or have a tighter, kinky curl appearance.  The density of the curls makes this type the least prone to shedding as any hair that does break off gets caught in the coat generally.

This means regular, daily, brushing is a must to prevent tangles and mats from occurring. Not only would this be unsightly, left untreated, but hair matting can also be painful and cause underlying skin conditions.

Many curly Goldendoodle owners will incorporate 6-to-8-week grooming sessions to clip the coat to a manageable length to make brushing less arduous.

Wavy Coats

Wavy-coated Goldendoodles will generally appear longer in hair length than their curly companions and exhibit a more silken softer hair type. This will still need regular brushing however may be easier to get a brush through. Grooming trips are also needed but may not be required as frequently.

Flat Coats

These Goldendoodles are the ones that most resemble a Golden Retriever. Think smooth short fur on the face and silky long hair over the body. These are the most likely to shed and can also experience winter coat “blowing” where they shed their summer coat to allow a thicker winter coat to come in.

While they don’t tangle in the same way as curly-coated Goldendoodles a longer coat means they often collect debris from the floor which can become tangled. Think sticks, twigs, and unfortunately mud!